Recently Korea has had some problems with
foreign laborers a few years ago. They came from China, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Philippine.
First, some vicious enterprisers didn¡¯t
give their salary and gave them some punishment like assault. So for the time
being, this became a social issue. Also, some foreign laborers violated Korean
Law because they worked without government permission. Also, they didn¡¯t go to
their mother land even though their visa validity expired. So there were social
issues with regard to foreign laborers, but now these problems are going to be
solved as the government involved.
Korean people use the same language and they
think their forefather is one called Tangun who established TangunKingdom (1) in BC2333.
So we don¡¯t have many issues with regard to race nowadays.Regardless the colors of skin, black or
white, Korean people don¡¯t have discrimination on their skin as long as they
speak the Korean language.An African
who is fluent in the Korean language is very popular recently. The reason is that
he is fluent in the Korean language, not the black skin.
However, Korean society has
a problem in that they make distinction for how to be educated. Problems lie in
whether they had a college graduation certificate or not and what university
they graduated from.If somebody
graduated from a high school, his social status would be predetermined
according to his academic accomplishment.If someone has graduated from a good university, he could get a good job
regardless of his ability. This kind of phenomenon is still alive in Korea even though we amend
that kind of irrationality.
Also, now Korea¡¯s severe
problem is a money-oriented society where you cannot do anything without money.
According to money, academic clique and age, many things about people are
predetermined in Korean society. So these kinds of distinctions make congregations
divide each other from a church¡¯s oneness.
Korean people belong to one
of the religions: Christianity, Catholic Church, Buddhism, Confucianism, shamanism,
and atheism.Even though there wasn¡¯t
much religious trouble among these religions, we are worried about potential religious
troubles because many people have some troubles within their family. For
example, my wife¡¯s sister Ms.Han married with a man who believes in
Confucianism. Her mother-in-law goes to Buddhist temple.Ms. Han played for over twenty years for her
husband¡¯s conversion while she obeys her mother-in-law. Finally her husband started
to attend church, so she is very happy.
About its class and income,
Most of our church members
are under middle class even though anyone don¡¯t live in a slum area. Most of
them have their house.Some family has a
big house and their family income exceed US$6,500 per month, but other family
get only US$1,000 per month. Fortunately we have several people who work at
educational institute.One works at an
elementary school as a janitor. one as a teacher for a high school, one as a
teacher for an elementary school, and one as a teacher for an middle school.
One is a director of a government-supported stock agency. So we have a strong point in education
including me.Last year our total budget
was US$17,000 per year.
About political affiliation,
Our congregation hasn¡¯t
joined any political parties and political activities yet. Generally speaking,
they think current government is not doing well in economy. But in some area,
some people receive benefits according to Korea President No¡¯s
policy. For example, many patients who suffer from cancer receive benefits from
a medical insurance policy.Cost for
medical operation and cancer treatment medicine is much reduced thanks for the
decision of liberal politician.
About its gender and sexual orientation.
In our congregation, the number
of men and women are almost the same in case of adults. But in case of
children, the number of girls are much more that that of boys. In Korea, most of churches
have much more woman in general. But we have no bachelor or a single woman now.That is to say, our church is family-oriented.Four month ago, one single woman attended our
church once, but as she is conscious of her singleness, she didn¡¯t come any
more. We have no divorced family.
We don¡¯t make distinction
against women, but as woman is different from the man in social activity in Korea, some church positions
were given to men.
About the number of congregation
The demographics of our congregation
are about 30 people. However adults are only 13 people and some of them attend church
from time to time. Only seven to nine people regularly attend church.The remaining 17 are children among whom
church member¡¯s children are five and the rest are the children who come from
the next door.There are many changes in
the number of children. In 2002, about 25 children attended ChuhyangMethodistChurch, but as we
moved to a new area, they don¡¯t attend our church because of the distance.
In a new area, we got 20
children, but as my wife suffers from cancer, she couldn¡¯t take care for them,
so we are losing them now.For adult
believers, eight people almost always attend church and the remaining 5 people
attend church from time to time., The
basic members continue to attend church.
On Wednesday and Friday, we
had students who attended church to participate in Wed. worship and English
class. At one time the number reached up to 10 people who come from around Seoul. They came to
study English after seeing the Internet advertisement.Since my wife suffered from illness, I
stopped this activity for a while.
About the life of the church, its demands, its expectations,
and its rewards
Our congregants think the
life of church to be the duty of a Christian, so every Sunday they attended
church worship, but as they are very busy and they are far away from the
church, they attend church only on Sunday. They have the faith that God will
help them to live a happy life in a hard society if they attend church, give
some donation, and serve church. If they give donation as much as a tenth of
their income, God will help them to be rich. [Bring the whole tithe into the
storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this.¡± says the Load
Almighty, ¡°and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour
out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. ] <Malachi >
Only two families offer a
tenth donation to the church. The rest offer only donation for gratitude and
regular donation. To offer donation is their religious duty. Church uses their donation to function as a